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The Land Institute

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Published on Jan 24, 2011

The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas is looking to revolutionize the agriculture industry by developing perennial crops with the same or greater yield than current systems. Here is a look at their history and mission:

The Land Institute has worked for over 30 years on the problem of agriculture. Our purpose is to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops. We have researched, published in refereed scientific journals, given hundreds of public presentations here and abroad, and hosted countless intellectuals and scientists. Our work is frequently cited, most recently in Science and Nature, the most prestigious scientific journals. We are now assembling a team of advisors which includes members of the National Academy of Sciences. These scientists understand our work and stand ready to endorse the feasibility of what we have come to call Natural Systems Agriculture.

Our strategy now is to collaborate with public institutions in order to direct more research in the direction of Natural Systems Agriculture. We are seeking funds to construct and operate a research center devoted to Natural Systems Agriculture and to underwrite scientists elsewhere who will engage with us in such research. We estimate the research cost to be $5 million a year for 25 years, which is a small fraction of one percent of the nation's annual agricultural research investment.

Important questions have been answered and crucial principles explored to the point that we feel comfortable in saying that we have demonstrated the scientific feasibility of our proposal for a Natural Systems Agriculture. Because this work deals with basic biological questions and principles, the implications are applicable worldwide. If Natural Systems Agriculture were fully adopted, we could one day see the end of agricultural scientists from industrialized societies delivering agronomic methods and technologies from their fossil fuel-intensive infrastructures into developing countries and thereby saddling them with brittle economies.

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